Mental Healing Through VR with Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill, CEO of Healium, discusses the creation of immersive media experiences to calm the mind. She shares her journey from being a journalist to starting a technology company and explains how Healium uses biofeedback and neurofeedback to create personalized media experiences. The technology works by capturing brain patterns and turning them into visual assets,…

Show Notes

This week, we have special guest Sarah Hill joining us in the studio! You may recognize her, as she has years of experience in broadcast television however, she is more recently notable for her meditative software, Healium. In this episode of KC Leaders Podcast, Sarah discusses:
– The “Stress Olympics” that everyone experiences
– Navigating Mental Fitness & Mental Health
– How Honor Flights led to the early stages of Healium


I bet you’re curious to explore Healium! Check it out on their website!

If you want to know more about Honor Flights and accessing this resource, click here: Honor Flight Network of KC


Don’t miss a single update on KC Leaders! You can find us on:
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All episode brought to you by Catapult Creative Media:

Show Transcript

[00:00:00.480] – David Maples

Hello, and welcome back to another exciting episode of Kansas City Leaders. I am here with Sara Hill. This is episode 3 of season 2 of the Kansas City Leaders podcast. And Sara Hill is the CEO and founder of Helium, a biofeedback product made to calm your mind. She’s one of the technology leaders in the city here in Kansas City. As I understand, you’re a 12-time Emmy-awarding journalist, and you used to work in journalism, in broadcast journalism. Is that correct?


[00:00:43.880] – Sarah Hill

I did Mid-America Emmy’s.


[00:00:46.020] – David Maples

Oh, I’m sorry.


[00:00:46.790] – Sarah Hill

A mid-American Emmy’s. But still, yeah.


[00:00:49.320] – David Maples

We’re going to qualify this.


[00:00:50.960] – Sarah Hill

Yeah, they’re a dozen golden ladies, but my background is in media and storytelling. I’m a story nerd, a technologist, and have created a media channel that’s powered by your body’s electricity.


[00:01:03.850] – David Maples

Okay, so before we get into that real quick, I just want to talk just for a second. How did you end up in Kansas City?


[00:01:10.660] – Sarah Hill

My family grew up in Missouri, right? Up in northeast Missouri, and went to the University of Missouri to the Journalism School. That was 1993. Had a couple of kids. Your family is close, and there is a great belt of a high level of digital literacy, and almost like a media belt across the Silicon Prairie that we call the Kansas City area, and so decided to stay. It’s a great place not only to raise a family, it is a great place to also create a company. There’s a low cost of goods, high talent pool as it relates to media. We hire a lot out of the universities, and it’s a great place to launch new technology. It’s becoming more and more popular, almost like a best kept secret on how your investment dollars can also go further in the Kansas City area than they can in other places around the world.


[00:02:11.730] – David Maples

It’s been very exciting lately to see Kansas City’s reach some of the places to watch as far as technology. For example, cities on the move, it was number 19 over tech sectors in the country. Number one, two, and three are Silicon Valley, Seattle, Austin, where you’d expect them to be. But the one thing that was really funny is that Kansas City was number 19th in the ranking, but from velocity and momentum, it was number four. It just showed that we’re on that upward trajectory. Of all the tech places in the country right now, we’re the only one that had that big gap, like a momentum versus current ranking. It’ll be interesting to see where that comes out the next year or two. Give me a little background on your journey from journalist to CEO of a technology company. How did you make that transition?


[00:02:58.210] – Sarah Hill

What does that look like? It wasn’t a linear path in any way. It had many twists and turns, but started as a journalist, a feature journalist, covering a lot of trauma. I was a radio broadcaster first, then a television news broadcaster. Every day, we would cover rapes, murders, homicides. We did some feature stories going in in the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, in the aftermath of hurricanes, hurricanes Rita, and ultimately developed this media channel for myself, as well as the people that we covered who want to feel better and sleep better in a completely just drugless way. Just as media has the ability to harm, media also has the ability to heal. We’re just flipping that on its head and using specific media images and also combining it with your body’s electricity to personify what has historically been unseen inside your body so you can learn to self-regulate your anxiety and your sleep.


[00:04:09.750] – David Maples

Not to talk about another piece of technology, but I was an early adopter, I guess, in the virtual reality space, et cetera. And in the pandemic, for the company Catapult that I work with, we provided these VR headsets. And the application I’m thinking about was called, I think it was called Trip or something like that. It It was literally something that’s supposed to help you… It was a whole bunch of imagery stuff. You’d watch it in your headset, but it would help you. It had something for you to focus on your breathing and stuff like that and help calm you down. It sounds like you’ve taken this a step further than that. You actually have… Now, if I understand correct, so I’ve been to your website, I’ve consumed your public-facing information. So there is a biofeedback monitor that you actually wear in conjunction with using an application on your phone or using a headset. Is that correct?


[00:05:00.810] – Sarah Hill

We’re hardware agnostic, so we work with any wearable that’s out there. Anything that captures data, our technology can turn it into visual assets. And so unlike a Headspace or a Calm or a Trip or any other mindfulness experience, it’s uniquely connected to your brain patterns and to your heart rate, and it’s effective. So effective computing in a way, the media is reactive to you. So no longer are we passively consuming these media experiences. We’re actively participating in it and almost in a way seeing your own internal story come to life with those brain patterns and heart rate. And there are a variety of interventions out there to calm your mind, along with just close your eyes, which can be one of the easiest and best ones for yourself. We’re a big believer that you need all of them. You need all of those interventions that I just mentioned because they do different things. Just as when you’re trying to ease a headache, you don’t just want a Tylenol or a Motrin. You need the full force of everything that’s out there. Right now, this is a mental health emergency. It’s the Stress Olympics, right? None of us have trained for it.


[00:06:30.690] – Sarah Hill

Very few people. I didn’t. I’m 53 years old, and no one ever taught me that I had the ability to self-regulate my brain patterns, and that what I think about or how I breathe actually impacts my brain patterns, my heart rate, my skin conductance, and my blood pressure, because I had never seen my feelings. And so in this mental health emergency, we need to have every single a tool in our arsenal, along with psychotropic medication or professional counseling, which is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. And Helium isn’t a replacement for those. It’s a wellness tool that allows you to become more self-aware that your thoughts do have power to control things, not only in the virtual world inside some of these experiences or just on your mobile device, but in the real world as well.


[00:07:27.430] – David Maples

All right, so break this down for me. How does the actual technology work. So I saw that there’s a sensor that you wear on your scalp or on your head. Is that correct? It’s just this looks like a head… I don’t want to call it a headlamp. I don’t know what you’d call it, but it’s some thing you wear.


[00:07:42.570] – Sarah Hill

It’s an EEG headband. Okay. And we’re hardware agnostic. So eventually we’ll work with all kinds of EEG headbands and smartwatches. But this particular EEG headband, it’s worn on the forehead, and we don’t make the hardware. We make the software and the media. So on In the forehead, it captures the electricity, your brain patterns that’s coming from the forehead. It’s not putting anything into your head. This is meditation, a flavor of meditation with biofeedback or neurofeedback, which some in your audience might be familiar with. And so it’s capturing those brain patterns, and it is turning them into media assets. So in augmented reality, a solar system that you can lighten or darken by calming your mind. Flowers, butterflies, inside virtual reality. It can change an aura around you. It will glow green if you’re not stressed, like a traffic light, and it will glow gold if you are. So again, the media is reactive to you, and you’re able to see how you’re breathing. You’re able to see your heart rate. And that’s just it. And In any other traditional exercise, can you imagine doing bicep curls and never being able to see your bicep or leg lifts?


[00:09:08.830] – Sarah Hill

But yet we’re flying really blind when it comes to mental fitness. How are we supposed to know necessarily what’s going on in your mind? And there are some people who really have honed that skill well. They have a mind’s eye, and they know when their mind is calm. And that can take years and years of practice. But for me, I was one of those individuals who struggled with traditional meditation. And so I needed some guardrails of sorts to make me more self-aware of what I’m thinking about now, how I’m breathing now. That has a direct impact on my physiology. So that when I go into a stressful situation, I have a stored memory that I’ve created from being inside those immersive environments that I can then go back to. But you are correct, we’re unique in that it’s connected via fitness trackers that you might already have in your home. An Apple Watch, a Samsung Galaxy Watch. We’re using those as inputs.


[00:10:21.610] – David Maples

So you can actually already, without someone getting this EEG headband or something like that, they could already use some of the technology they already have. They just have to get the application application. Is that correct?


[00:10:31.200] – Sarah Hill

They have to get the application. And if they already have the watches or the headbands, yeah. It’s via Bluetooth, you just import it, and then you’re able to connect to, say, Helium’s app. We also have an API and an SDK that your other app developers, media experiences, can also use as well if they want to have an application that’s powered by Helium, powered by your body’s electricity.


[00:10:59.060] – David Maples

That’s really cool because I have used some of these mind calming apps, and usually it’s… I mean, they’re rudimentary. I’m not knocking you the apps I’ve used, but they don’t really have a way to see in real time actually how you’re processing the data. It’s really like align your heart rate with this, right? Well, what if I… It’s different if my heart rate beats at 55 beats a second versus 80. There’s a difference in what that would look like. Yes, breathing slower might… There may be some commonalities there, but there is no way to watch it in real time. I am not a good meditative person, if that’s the right term for it. My brain doesn’t shut down. If it’s a blank wall and I’m staring at it, I’ll be looking at it for about five minutes and be like, Did I leave the stove on? I’m not good at that. I’m just going to admit that. It sounds like it’d be very useful for me. You’ve actually built the software applications that integrate with a whole bunch of different platforms. It’s available for the Vision Pro, the new Apple Vision Pro. You can get it there.


[00:11:56.660] – David Maples

You can get it in the meta, I guess it’s called the What’s it called? The Meta Store now? The Oculus Quest Store? I’m not sure what they call it these days.


[00:12:04.790] – Sarah Hill

We’re on compatible with Apple Vision Pro, iOS, Android. You don’t have to have goggles. In the flat world, you can just use it on your mobile device. You can also use it with Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Quest 1, although they’ve sunsetted Oculus Quest 1, Meta Pro, Quest 3, and also all the line of PECO devices. So PECO, G2 4K, PECO G3, PECO G4. We’re hardware agnostic. So bring whatever hardware you have, bring whatever fitness tracker you have, and we’re adding additional compatible wearables to the platform and download the Helium app or use it with another app that has Helium’s integration.


[00:12:50.070] – David Maples

I want to divert the conversation a little bit because we talked about how it’s a nonlinear path for you to be not just a leader in Kansas City, but A female leader in technology in particular, we need more… Just like anybody would say, we need more women represented in technology because they make up over half the population, and yet they’re underrepresented, especially in the tech sector space. What was the burning desire for you to jump off that cliff and flap your arms on the side to start a whole… I mean, this is a major career shift for you. What was the place and what was the moment in time that crystallized that for you? When did you say, I need to do this?


[00:13:30.220] – Sarah Hill

As a journalist, I covered the Veterans Beat. That was part of my Beat. I went on dozens of these honor flights. If you’ve heard of honor flights, they are real physical flights. It’s a charity that flies veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC. Went on one and, wow, I was deeply moved. My grandpa was a World War II vet. He never had the opportunity to see his memorial. I thought, Oh, wow, he would love this. To make a long To make a long story short, we put a call on the news one night. Hey, we think it would be cool to have a hub in our area because at the time there wasn’t. And to make a long story short, ended up getting these Honor Flight programs started with some phenomenal leaders who stepped forward to lead that charge. After several years, that first year, we went on, I don’t know, seven, eight on honor flights and captured them all in video. But what we found is a lot of these aging internally ill the World War II veterans, they were on too much oxygen. Their doctor told them that they couldn’t go on the flight because their bodies were too frail.


[00:14:38.830] – Sarah Hill

They might die if they went on the flights. So technologists, journalists, naturally curious person started thinking, what do we have in our skillset that can allow them to feel like they’re there even though they’re not? Wouldn’t it be great if we could virtually transport them there? We can, right? With technology. So about that time, Google Glass was coming on the scene, Google Cardboard. And so first we were live streaming from our face, but that doesn’t scale because you have to have someone, live, real person to do that all the time. And Google then shut down the Glass program. And so we had to find a new way in order to capture these experiences. Got some money together and Stereoscopic 360 cameras set up in an array. At the time, there were like 20 four of them in an array, and we went around to all of the memorials and captured them in Stereoscopic 360 video, brought them back to the veterans bedside, and we had virtual tours of the Vietnam, World War II, Korea, and women’s memorials. The reaction of seeing those veterans’ faces when they watched the experience and then they took off the goggles.


[00:15:55.640] – Sarah Hill

Obviously, they were very emotional. They weren’t watching it through the filter of just a rectangle, they were there. The way their physiology, after they take off the goggles, they would have these deep cleansing breaths, and they would say, I like how I feel. Felt, Can I watch that again? And so journalists, naturally curious person, it led us on a path of, What is this media doing to them? What’s happening inside them? And can we create this media in a way that could actually therapeutic for the person and be helpful for them beyond just virtual travel? Teamed up with my co founder, Dr. Jeff Tarrant, neurofeedback, biofeedback counseling psychologist. And he started doing brain maps on the content that we were creating to see how was it impacting physiology. And it impacts physiology in a very unique way. And we’ve always known this for decades, that different media, whether it be violent or sexual or any media, can make you feel a certain way. And so we are just flipping that on the head to make it healing and creating it in a way that it can make you more self-aware. And when he gave me that very first photo, it was of a firefighter’s brain with a full EEG cap with glue electrodes immediately before the experience and just four minutes after, you saw all the red activity, all the fast activity instantly reduced.


[00:17:46.170] – Sarah Hill

And that’s a powerful tool because there are some individuals, I was one of them, who struggled with quieting my mind, and I needed some help, as does the millions of people out who are looking for easier ways to learn to self-regulate. And after seeing that image, we knew that these aren’t just experiences. This could be so much more than just virtual travel. So Honor Everywhere is our company’s social purpose. All of those experiences are now free today. We’ve open-sourced them. They’re available from a variety of VR companies, more than a dozen different VR companies around the world. I’ve agreed to share it with their places because we’re losing these veterans at a rate of thousands a day nationwide. And these 80 and 90-year-olds are too frail to get on flights to see their memorials. And sadly, we as a company waited too long to get them there. So that Honor Everywhere program was the catalyst to Helium, the precursor to Helium, and is also now our company’s social purpose that you can get it on any of the goggles. Again, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, and women’s memorials.


[00:19:09.200] – David Maples

And you said that’s Honor Everywhere?


[00:19:11.410] – Sarah Hill

Honor Everywhere. And you can get more information or actually ask your local Honor Flight Hub, and they can tell you more about it. Obviously, it’s not a replacement for a real honor flight. There’s nothing that compares to that. But for the people who have terminal conditions and their doctors have told them that they can’t travel, It is one way that at least they can say they have seen it before they pass.


[00:19:37.040] – David Maples

That is an amazing program. We’ll link to that. Any of the listeners or if you’re watching this on YouTube, we’re going to link to that in the show notes, either beneath the video or beneath Apple, Google, Spotify podcast. We’ll put that in the show notes so you can see that. That’s very cool. How do you bridge from there to Helium? It just seems like it’s an evolutionary step. It’s really funny how you went from, Oh, this makes sense. I’ll get involved with this, and what’s the next step? So let’s talk about that.


[00:20:03.140] – Sarah Hill

Isn’t it interesting that we, as people, think that things need to be linear, that there needs to be some logical explanation? But really, it was seeing those veterans’ expressions and talking with them about what they experienced. Also, too, as a former television journalist, I struggled with sleep and insomnia and my own mental wellness. So always had a heart with what are some of the alternative ways that we can allow people to learn to self-regulate and also learn to downshift. So this is media. This is storytelling, which is all in my background. It’s just instead of informative media, it’s media that heals.


[00:20:52.500] – David Maples

So when did you get people together to start Helium?


[00:20:57.570] – Sarah Hill

It was 2016. In the very early days of Google Cardboard-


[00:21:06.220] – David Maples

No, it’s really weird because you mentioned Google Glass, and I was like, I think they canceled that in 2012 or 2013. It’s like over a decade ago.


[00:21:12.110] – Sarah Hill

It was before that. We were doing a volunteer endeavor. And Honor Flight, it wasn’t my paid gig. It was a volunteer effort.


[00:21:21.680] – David Maples

But the crazy part about this is that 2015, 2016, when you started this, that is the beginning of VR stuff. I mean, really, like you start… That’s Oculus is just coming out. You’ve got the HTC Vive, you got the Sony. I mean, all those pieces are… I mean, this is… At that point, that is bleeding-edge technology. It’s like at the pre-early adopter phase, almost.


[00:21:44.920] – Sarah Hill

Yeah, and you can imagine in our area, you’re leaving television to do what? Yeah, totally. You’re now creating stuff for a cardboard box. Oh, I’m really sorry. You try to tell them, Well, actually, it’s going to a thing. Sure enough, it is. We’re in enterprises around the world, areas from the VA to Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic actually invested in our round, major airlines, NFL, Major League Base teams. These are ways to instantly escape your current reality and downshift.


[00:22:20.740] – David Maples

Yeah. It’s funny. I’ve always heard people say, Oh, you want to go outside, put your feet in the grass. I was like, My great grandmother had a dirt front yard. There was no grass That’s right, in middle Georgia, where I’m from, or South Georgia. But it’s just really funny when people talk about that you can’t always escape your environment. If you live in a concrete jungle, if you’re in a downtown urban environment, there may not be a green space for you. If you really need to step outside yourself and go somewhere else, I think these other applications, it just makes sense.


[00:22:51.010] – Sarah Hill

That is so true and it’s so telling, especially when you get out of the United States. One of the areas that Helium is used for is with humanitarian missions. So aftermath of tornado, it’s being used with victims of gender-based violence in Iraq. And what these therapists tell us is that there are some individuals, not only do they not have access to nature, but they have… If you were to say, imagine a beach or imagine a safe place, they don’t have a way to even hearken that amongst them to think about what a safe place is. So they’re using helium to create those stored memories of, well, here’s something beautiful that’s nature-based. Our experiences are either shot with live, steroscopic 360 video or built in a game engine. Either way, they’re beautiful and nature-based. But it provides them the ability to see an example of something that is a safe space. And then they can remember that Aurora Borealis. They can remember the waterfall, the beach, the Swiss countryside whenever they get in a stressful situation.


[00:24:10.580] – David Maples

This is an amazing product, and I can’t wait to try it out myself.


[00:24:17.240] – Sarah Hill

Thank you.


[00:24:18.460] – David Maples

No, it’s just really cool. It’s not just that. You’re in Kansas City. That’s the thrust of the podcast a little bit. I want to talk a little bit about that. How did you… So, yes, You’re leaving a successful career in journalism to start something different, and you’re putting it in a cardboard box. I mean, literally, people are still with the vision. I mean, it’s still early days for the technology and the metaverse and whatever you want to call it, spatial computing is coming, and it’s going to undoubtedly change our world. This is an example of a technology where it could change things for a lot better. I was thinking about, and I want to hop to the KC questions in a minute, but there’s an epidemic of anxiety with young people today, based on social media. I read some studies from last week that came out that were really, really… I’ve got a 13-year-old niece, and I was just thinking about how these kids, they have a higher anxiety quotient than ever before. And part of it’s because of social media we’re always on.


[00:25:21.170] – David Maples

I mean, people literally think that… And look, I’m not trying to be the old guy in the room, but they think it’s normal to be putting your makeup on in the morning on a TikTok channel. And just what? Because we’re going to become the next influencer? It seems like always being on seems like a very unhealthy thing. And I understand that’s where the generation is going to right now. And it’s not the old guy in the room, but the science is bearing that out right now. It’s increasing anxiety. You know that being on camera as a journalist yourself is a very artificial thing. People think. They think that when you have makeup on, you got the pancake on and everything else, they think that that’s real life, and it’s not. They think that any of these reality shows, they don’t realize that 75 cuts put together in a 10-minute segment. It looks like it’s this perfect, amazing thing, and it’s not. I was thinking about your technology in particular could be incredibly vital. I don’t know. Have you Have you looked at this teenage generation or are you seeing any adoption of that?


[00:26:18.720] – Sarah Hill

Yes. Obviously, those are the primary people who have goggles, right? Are young adults ages 13 and above. But there’s something very interesting about that. I see it both ways. We need social media. Sure. We need to be connected as a community, to know who to vote for, to know who to vote against, to know that we’re safe from a tornado, to be alert of emergencies, for business, to be able to connect with your customers and network. There’s so many great, amazing things about social. Absolutely. However, we need to be more cognizant in of our media diet. Just as there are things that can make you sick, if you eat too much of it, it’s the same thing with social media. Yes, there is negative fiber in social media, like any other media consumption. We are what we watch with their eyes. The brain believes what it sees. What it’s consuming, your physiology is changing. And so that’s where helium comes in, in that it is positive fiber that can allow to learn to self-regulate, to escape your current reality. But just as it has the potential to harm, it can also heal. And so not all of social media is bad.


[00:27:44.660] – Sarah Hill

Has it changed how we operate? Yes. But as a parent, and my kids are grown, right? I’m going to be a grandma in three weeks. But we need to be having these conversations about our media diet. It sounds like the old people in the room, but when it impacts your physiology and when people are actually taking their own lives, it becomes a very important conversation, just as important as what you’re putting in your mouth. What are you consuming with your eyes?


[00:28:21.050] – David Maples

I think, Therefore, I am. A lot of it’s not just that. It’s the idea is that how you interpret the world around you, how you experience the world around you. I mean, literally changing the music you’re listening to changes your mood. Getting out there and exercising as always, seeing from dopamine receptors and endorphins, et cetera, all these things. You’re right. How you consume media around you does impact your world. I’ve known people who go on an anti-news diet, like eight weeks before election cycles because everything becomes so negative.


[00:28:53.120] – Sarah Hill

Election anxiety. It was a real thing.


[00:28:54.620] – David Maples

Yeah. And so the question is, it is always like, Man, there’s better ways to do this. But how did How did you convince people in Kansas City? Like, this is an idea. Let’s get some investors together. How did you do that? Did you go outside the market? Did you find people here who were interested? How did you do it?


[00:29:07.810] – Sarah Hill

We got great partners in here in the Kansas City area. It actually started with our IP attorney. There was an IP attorney that we were originally getting our technology. We went to one and they said, You can never patent that. And went to Hush Blackwell, and they were like, Well, yeah, you can. And turns out that’s a very important part of our channel, not just the content, but that core technology that’s powering it. And also the KC Rice Fund. They believed in us from the very beginning and basically opened up their network into sales channel partners, introductions. That was a very crucial key partner for us in those early days and continues today.


[00:29:59.670] – David Maples

I just want to talk about the Kansas City community a little bit. It’s funny that your IP attorney is originally who introduced you to some of these things. How do you stay informed and connected, engaged with the the Kansas City community as a large? Is it through people you know in the town? Is there something you do in particular?


[00:30:19.890] – Sarah Hill

I consume media from the Kansas City area. Startland News is a great media channel that is covering entrepreneurship Obviously, I’m very fascinated with what other entrepreneurs are doing, are there opportunities for collaboration, and also growing that ecosystem in the Kansas City area. And networking opportunities, pipeline entrepreneurs is another Kansas City area-based organization that’s pooling together entrepreneurs from a variety of states, right here in the Silicon Prairie region, if you will, where you can go and talk with other entrepreneurs and not annoy the heck out of them in talking about your business. Whereas sometimes talking with your family nonstop about your cost to acquire or they can zone out. But this is a really phenomenal place to build a business, and not just because you can do it cheaper, better, faster here, that there’s a lower cost of goods, but there are bright minds in this area in media, in technology, in digital health and wellness, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I’m really excited for that secret to get out in the rest of the world, where they’re struggling with building companies on the coasts and paying 10 grand for a very small office space.


[00:31:56.450] – Sarah Hill

We here in the Kansas City area are also We’re deeply connected to each other. When you go into a gas station, it would not be uncommon for that gas station attendant to say, Hey, how’s your day going? They generally want to know. If you don’t answer, they’re like, No, really? How are you doing? How are you doing? They care about you. You combine that heartland spirit with a place where investment dollars can go further. We’re just scratching the surface on the potential here as a launch pad for entrepreneurs.


[00:32:40.040] – David Maples

Are there any local leaders or influencers who inspire you?


[00:32:45.230] – Sarah Hill

Yes. Darcy Howe. Darcy has led many entrepreneurial efforts in our area, and she’s really at the center of a lot of entrepreneurship ecosystem. For instance, some of the greatest introductions that I got were at Darcy’s Kitchen Table. It’s these conversations that are happening not just in Darcy’s Kitchen Table, but in a variety of ones throughout the area. I really think that’s great that there’s a difference between people who have influence and then people who are willing to share their influence. And that’s what you’ll find a lot in our area, is people who recognize that they have access to someone who can help your story, help your business, help your cause. And they see the vision and what you’re building, and therefore, they have the ability to open doors for you.


[00:33:48.900] – David Maples

That’s really exciting. You’re right. There’s a difference between having influence and sharing it. It’s one thing where you want to hide it and it’s just yours. And it’s one thing you’re like, No, I’d love to introduce you to people.


[00:34:00.180] – Sarah Hill

Some of the most influential people I know aren’t necessarily the people who’ve shared their influence with me.


[00:34:06.710] – David Maples

Yeah, absolutely. How do you see the future of Kansas City and what role do you hope to play in that future?


[00:34:12.810] – Sarah Hill

I see the future of Kansas City in a big way as it relates to digital health. There’s a lot of talent pool here coming out of Cerner and other endeavors that is ripe to be building things. Combine that with the fact that you can be bet anywhere in the aftermath of a pandemic to build a business. Here in Kansas City, you have the resources, you have the tools, low cost of goods, and people who are willing to share their influence.


[00:34:49.900] – David Maples

I always have to ask this question, and it sounds a little silly, but best barbecue in Kansas City. Where is it? What is it?


[00:34:56.980] – Sarah Hill



[00:34:57.700] – David Maples



[00:34:58.690] – Sarah Hill



[00:34:59.350] – David Maples

Okay. Tell me, what in particular there and why?


[00:35:03.430] – Sarah Hill

I just like their pulled pork. Always have. Also, they have a like Broccolatini. I haven’t had that. Yeah, it’s really good as well. You should definitely try it.


[00:35:15.300] – David Maples

I will definitely try that. If someone wants to get involved or to connect with you, where is the best place to find you and to talk about Helium? Or if they want to try it out, where do they go try it out?


[00:35:25.630] – Sarah Hill

You can go to our website. That’s at Helium is spelled like Helium is the root word, H-E-A-L-I-U-M. So On our social networks, we’re at HeliumXR. You can search us on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Insta, and LinkedIn. I’m on there as well. Twitter, I guess, is my primary platform. I’m Sarah with an H, Sarah Midmo, also in Facebook, Insta, and LinkedIn, and a wee little bit on TikTok as well. But we We love to connect with the community. Specifically, we’re looking for those areas of stress and trauma, whether it be a therapist, whether it be a burned-out nurse. It costs a million dollars to replace a burned-out physician. These are drugless, non harmful coping mechanisms that can quickly downshift your nervous system and improve your mood.


[00:36:20.500] – David Maples

Well, Sarah Hill, thank you so much for coming on the show today. It was a delight. I’m excited about your technology. Just as importantly, I’m excited to see how it will continue to help propel Kansas City forward and we’re not fly over a country. We’re the part of the country you should be flying to right now. I think it’s amazing what’s going on in this community and people like you helping lead the way. You helping lead the way. Thank you so much for being on the show.


[00:36:46.790] – Sarah Hill

Couldn’t agree more. Right back at you. Best of luck to you. Thank you for the opportunity to share.


[00:36:50.310] – David Maples

Thank you.


[00:36:51.860] – Producer

Thank you for listening to the KC Leaders podcast. Please remember to like, share, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen. For more information about this podcast, you can visit Don’t forget to check out our other great podcasts like The Buck Stops Here, streaming now on all major platforms and at


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